The Department of Justice (DOJ) is focusing on Donald Trump as part of its criminal investigation into attempts to nullify the 2020 election results, according to reports.
The Washington Postciting unnamed sources, said the DOJ questioned witnesses before a special grand jury about their conversations with the former president, as well as questions about meetings Trump held in December 2020 and January 2021.
Other DOJ questions include Trump’s attempts to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results, and Trump’s degree of involvement in the plan to install bogus officials. voters to falsely claim he won the election over Joe Biden in a number of key states.
So far, the DOJ has focused its bogus election investigation on Trump lawyers John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani.
The New York Times reported that the DOJ had seized the phones of Eastman — who ran a fake election officials scheme — and Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official whom Trump’s inner circle wanted to install as attorney general to support the false claim that the election was rigged and send letters falsely claiming that there were voting irregularities in certain states.
The DOJ also received phone records from a number of Trump administration White House officials as part of the investigation, including its former chief of staff Mark Meadows in April.
Those asked about their conversations with Trump include two of Pence’s former top aides: former chief of staff Marc Short and the former vice president’s attorney, Greg Jacob, people familiar with the matter said. The Washington Post.
Short confirmed that he was questioned by the grand jury in Washington, DC, but did not elaborate on the details of the questioning. Short has also previously sat for deposition as part of the House Select Committee’s inquiry into the January 6 attack.
In March, U.S. District Judge David Carter ruled that Trump “more likely than not” committed a crime in trying to prevent certification of Biden’s Jan. 6 election victory, while citing communications from Short and Jacob with Eastman.
The report of The Washington Post is the first indication that Trump’s actions are officially under investigation by the DOJ in regards to his attempts to overturn the election results.
There is still no real indication as to whether Trump could become the first sitting president or former president to be charged with a crime in US history.
The department and Attorney General Merrick Garland have come under fire for their apparent slowness in bringing criminal charges against officials for trying to nullify the last election, particularly amid evidence presented by the January 6 Committee.
Just before DOJ reports examining Trump’s conduct were released, Garland said NBC Nightly News that prosecutors “will pursue justice without fear or favour” and will not rule out prosecuting the former president if necessary.
“We intend to hold accountable everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6 or for any attempt to interfere with the legal transfer of power from one administration to another,” Garland said.
“That’s what we do. We don’t pay any attention to other issues in relation to that.”
Trump has been contacted for comment.